The South African National Parks (SANParks) have arrested 13 suspected poachers in the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) in three separate incidents over the past week.
Frans van Rooyen, TMNP Park Manager, commended the rangers and stakeholders who were instrumental in the arrests and gave an account of how the suspects were detained in a statement released on Tuesday, November 24.
The first group of poachers were arrested on Thursday, November 19 in the Kommetjie area. TMNP rangers working in tandem with City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officials apprehended five suspects who were found in possession of 13 units of abalone and 10 west coast rock lobster. The suspects’ diving gear was also confiscated during this operation.
Yesterday, 19 November 2020, the Southern Section Rangers arrested five divers while on patrol near Kommetjie. Diving gear as well as 10 West Coast Rock Lobster and 13 Abalone was confiscated.
All confiscated goods were booked in with the South African Police Service and a case pic.twitter.com/m5fMdnQATV
— SANParks TMNP (@TableMountainNP) November 20, 2020
In the second arrest, three suspects were apprehended in the Hout Bay area on Friday, November 20.
In this operation, the SANParks Environment Crime Investigation Unit was assisted by the South African Police Services (SAPS) sea border and diving unit.
The three suspects were found in possession of diving gear and 86 abalone, which were confiscated.
The final arrests of the week took place on Saturday, November 21 in Platboom, just north of the Cape of Good Hope Road. TMNP rangers and ECI worked together to take five poachers into custody. Thirty-eight units of abalone was found in their possession.
“We urge our surrounding communities to continue helping us in a fight to curb crime within and around Table Mountain National Park,” said Van Rooyen.
“Congratulations to the entire SANParks team and stakeholders and we thank you for your dedication, obedience and tenacity and we wish you a successful festive season ahead.”
The 13 suspects have been handed over to the police for further investigation and will appear in court, according to SANParks.